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A £50,000 grant from a fund set up to help nurses make better use of technology has been awarded to ²gether NHS Foundation Trust.

The funding – from NHS England’s Nursing Technology Fund – will enable ²gether to trial mobile computer devices for staff to access and update the records of service users while out in the community.

It will give staff access to on the spot information, and they will be able to update records there and then, rather than needing to return to an office and sit at a computer.

“We’re delighted that our application for funding was successful, and are looking forward to starting this exciting project,” Trust Deputy Director of Nursing John Trevains said.

“The Nursing Technology Fund was established to make better use of technology to deliver safer, more effective and more efficient care.

“We believe our project will achieve all those aims, by enabling our clinical staff to quickly and easily access accurate patient information while they are visiting people in their homes and elsewhere in the community.

“The mobile devices will save the time it currently takes inputting handwritten notes into computers when staff return to their office, which will enable us to spend more time on clinical care.

“We will begin our trial in September, and I look forward to seeing the outcome and the impact it has upon our staff and service users.”

Our bid for funding was linked to the implementation of the latest version of our clinical information system, RiO, which will go live from July 2014. This includes an application called ‘Store & Forward’ which will enable nurses to download information from RiO to be accessed on a mobile device away from their office base, including in the patient’s home.

We are very mindful of the importance of maintaining the safety and confidentiality of patient records. Security features ensure that all access and auditing is as safe and secure as on our desktop computers.

 During the trial, we will consider which mobile devices are most effective and how staff can make the best use of this new technology. We will also assess whether the use of mobile devices helps staff in their clinical work in improving access to information, and if it helps them to make better use of their clinical time.